There has been quite a few albums whiz me by in the last couple of weeks (even months), and it's actually quite tough for a reviewer to take. So having since finally drowned out what I wanted to review, and what I don't want to review at all, I've chosen to. Considering the next review is more straight-forward, this review is roughly tricky. The Script's new album, No Sound Without Silence has finally drowned on me, but let's talk about this album, and a band that has softly and slowly, gone missing.
There's a large chunk of audience that still remembers some of the hits by The Script, tellingly their major ones which are We Cry, The Man Who Can't Be Moved and Breakeven; all of which are singles from their debut self-titled album, which their new album is a prequel to. Now, the reason that those singles were so well-known and beloved by fans was because they were the band's breakout hits. It was 2008, which incidentally broke them into the mainstream. Of course, this allowed the follow-up to two albums soon after, and neither have been deadly on-par with their first album, nor even come close to being good. And what's really maddening? The band simply took off in a much more simplistic, streamlined mainstream direction that completely fell flat in my eyes. What's so bad about that direction?
There's a lot of bands associated to renaissance by heading into another direction, and Maroon 5 is a latest example. Yes Maps was a commercial success and Superheroes did not even come close (and you could say Maroon 5 was much more appealing than The Script any day of the week), but what really mattered was whether or not the audience loved it. While I liked the first album, the new singles come across as intimidatingly foreign. They did not seem to have passion nor versatility, both which carved The Script out of their comfort zone completely.
Take for example album #3. The single, Hall of Fame barely scraped the surface of The Script; it lent the voice of Will.I.Am, and while he was trash, the band itself lost focus. There was neither powerful undertone messages (other than the straight-forward one) and the band's precision for tenacity such as instrumentation power was weakened by chunks. When you re-listen to their old hits, there was a theme to it, and while Danny O'Donoghue did had a sense of unique tone, the band carried the tracks, not just the lead singer alone. Undoubtedly, No Sound Without Silence was pretty much the album that The Script did not need.
From the get-go, Superheroes was a messy single. It tried to blend mainstream essence along with guitars that seemed out of place, and parts of raw vocals that just did not fit at all. This made me feel wary of the album on a whole. And going into, the reception was not warm.
There's a lot of struggle this album faces. One of which includes lyrical ineptitude and depth, instrumentation problems and lots of improvement to be made.
To be fair, Danny O'Donoghue does have a lot of space to work his vocals around these songs, especially tracks like The Energy Never Dies and It's Not Right For You. Otherwise, tracks like Flares and Army of Angels truly show the opposite. And don't get me wrong, the drums on the album is very good. Paint the Town Green was a great track that infused a lot of rock sounds, pop melodies and jarring lyrical forwardness that seems to not be found anywhere else on the album. I for one, would love to hear more of tracks like these, but I guess not.
The other problems also include the band's direction: the shift from #3 back to their anthemic, heartfelt melodic rock, felt as if the band had lost touch of their old material somewhere along the way. Never Seen Anything "Quite Like You", Man on a Wire and No Good in Goodbye all seem to sound like solid tracks. But there's the problem there: it's not. They each suffer from lyrical implosion, instrumentation failings and are streamlined to the point of mediocrity. There is nothing likable about any of the tracks that had the topic of love in it. As such was it with the more toned down tracks like Flares and Army of Angels, which I had stapled above. In fact, the ones that worked are Without Those Songs and Hail Rain or Sunshine of which had an underlying message that didn't necessarily needed to speak to the audience.
Now, it may seem like I'm trashing on the album, but I'm not really. Disappointment has been spewing all across this review because I still brand The Script as a band that had fallen off after their first album and had never necessarily peaked again, despite the talents seemingly there. Such of which also includes other bands which I guess you already process and know about.
Favourite Tracks: Pain the Town Green, Without Those Songs, Hail Rain or Sunshine
Least Favourite Tracks: Flares, Army of Angels
The Script's No Sound Without Silence is essentially a step back in a forthcoming direction and undoubtedly, with renewed resonance and energy, I'm not sure if the band can actually turn things around in future albums.
Benny Ong: Just your regular guy who likes soccer more than most people, and also a little downtime is pretty nice.